According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 19% of children between the ages of two and nineteen have untreated dental caries (cavities). The statistics show that approximately the same percentage of boys and girls have untreated cavities and that the percentages of cavities is higher in black and Hispanic children as compared to white, non-Hispanic children.
Untreated cavities can lead to a variety of more serious dental health issues including infected teeth, abscessed teeth, periodontal disease and even tooth loss. For this reason, it is imperative that children visit the dentist at least every six months for a routine dental cleaning and checkup. During your child’s dental examination, your dentist may take X-rays. X-rays can be used to visualize decay that cannot be detected during a routine examination.
The best way to avoid cavities in children is to educate them about their oral health and ensure that they are practicing good oral hygiene at home on a daily basis. To prevent tooth decay, children should have an adequate intake of fluoride and should brush their teeth thoroughly at least twice daily. They should also floss their teeth before brushing them at least one time per day. Making wise food choices and avoiding sugary foods and candies as well as limiting the amount of acidic beverages (energy and sports drinks) is also important. Your dentist may also recommend sealants to prevent decay in the back molars.
If your child has not had a dental cleaning and checkup in over six months, schedule one today! If you teach your children to take good care of their teeth and gums while they are young, it will increase their chances of maintaining good oral health, for life.
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